The Art of Having No Plan
We live in world where everyone has a plan. And everyone tells you that you need to have a plan. What’s your favourite plan? What do you plan to do after college? What are your plans for the summer?
Plans are essential so it seems. A career plan is an absolute must. This is the message social media and society tells us, but is it really true?
I have never had a plan. I’ve had vague ideas. I’ve had notions, scraps, inklings of ideas of what I’ve wanted to do with my life. But for most of the journey so far I’ve had no idea of what I want to do. And I still don’t know for sure.
Recently I was giving a workshop about blogging with the Irish Writers Centre and I was asked about how I went about planning for the blog to become what it is. I didn’t have an answer. Never have I planned for anything. I simply trusted my gut day-by-day and followed what I’m passionate about. Everything else seemed to work itself out after that.
The point I’m trying to make is plans don’t always work out. Some of the most successful people on earth didn’t have a plan. They just followed their passions and followed the path that lay out before them. Often when I tell the world plans I do make they don’t work out. The outcome isn’t what I expect and I end up disappointed.
Life is chaos.
I enjoy embracing this chaos. Seeing what will happen rather than expecting specific things to happen feels far less stressful. Afterall, a plan is essentially an expected outcome. And if you have expectations then there is always potential for disappointment.
So when people ask for roadmaps for how to become a writer, or a blogger, or a mental health speaker, the answer I give is often disappointing.
I don’t know. I didn’t plan for the life I currently lead. All I’ve done is simply trust my gut and follow what I’m passionate about, and everything else has worked itself out.
And so that is the primary advice I would give to you, if you are trying to figure your life out. If you feel lost. If you feel unsure about what you want to do with yourself – forget planning. Focus on what makes your heart sing and take each day as it comes. See the opportunities arise on the road before you and trust your gut.
Everything else will work itself out.